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The European Social Network’s (ESN) Working Group on the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) met in Brussels on 1-2 October to discuss the role of social services in eradicating poverty (SDG1).

Social services representatives from across Europe and beyond, as well as stakeholders from international organisations, discussed how to bridge local, regional, national and European levels to implement SDG1 on eradicating poverty.

Localising the SDGs

At ESN, we believe the local and regional level have a crucial role to play in the implementation of the SDGs. According to the OECD’s programme ‘A Territorial Approach to the SDGs’ most underlying policies and investments are a shared responsibility across all levels of government and it is estimated that 65% of the 169 targets underlying the 17 SDGs will not be reached without proper engagement of and coordination with local and regional governments. Tadashi Matsumoto, from the OECD, presented the programme they launched in July 2018 which offers to support cities and regions in “localising” the SDGs.

Fighting multidimensional poverty 

During the meeting, Adriana Conconi, of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative presented how multidimensional poverty measures can be used to reveal who is poor and how they are poor – highlighting the range of different disadvantages that contribute to poverty. Members of the working group also discovered how the multidimensional measures of poverty can be broken down to reveal the poverty level in different areas of a particular country, and among different sub-groups of people.

Best practices from our members

ESN members in the working group presented strategies they have developed at the local or regional level directly linked to the implementation of the SDG 1. Gemma Parera, from Barcelona Provincial Council, spoke about three different programmes tackling poverty: Home Debt Intermediation ServiceEnergy Audit and Social Cash Card.

Marthe van Laarhoven presented the ‘Utrecht Global Goals City’ strategy which aims to form a coalition with businesses to work on international sustainable development. For example, the restaurant Syr is a social enterprise where Syrian newcomers can make use of their talents and further develop their skills in order to help them integrate into the Dutch society.

This first meeting of the working group offered a platform to exchange different experiences and perspectives around the role of social services in the implementation of SDG 1.

Our next meeting in Paris will focus on the role of social services in promoting health and wellbeing. If you are an expert in the field and would like to participate, please contact our Policy Officer Leyre Merchan Paules.